Social Work Research and Evaluation applies systematically developed research knowledge to social work practice and emphasizes the “doing” of social work as a reciprocal avenue for generating research evidence and social work knowledge. Using the Examined Practice Model, authors Elizabeth G. DePoy and Stephen F. Gilson present research as the identification of a problem and then proceed to evaluate the efficacy of social work practice in its resolution. Diverse theories, actions, and sets of evidence from a range of professional and disciplinary perspectives are included to underscore the importance of integrating evaluation and practice in research.

Design in Both Traditions

Design in Both Traditions

This chapter examines and then applies the characteristics of designs in each of the traditions to examined practice. Recall that experimental-type designs are “nomothetic,” or rely on group trends, to generate knowledge. Thus, these approaches are most relevant to understanding group need and outcome as well as differences among and between groups. Idiographic designs are best suited for analyzing local uniqueness and assessing contextual outcomes.

Specific Experimental-Type Designs

Experimental-type designs have traditionally been classified as true-experimental, quasi-experimental, pre-experimental, and non-experimental. Because the primary aim and structure of this tradition are ultimately designed to test cause and effect relationships, the true experiment is the criterion by which all other experimental-type methodological approaches are judged. As discussed previously, the true ...

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